In Argentina, work continues on the country's second nuclear plant in the province of Cordoba, about 600 kilometres north west of Buenos Aires.
In Argentina, work continues on the country's second nuclear plant in the province of Cordoba, about 600 kilometres north west of Buenos Aires. Its is part of the Argentine Government's programme to develop an independent nuclear industry which is expected to provide eventually about one-third of the country's power requirements. Although Argentine lacks the technology needed to produce `heavy water' which is essential for the large scale production of atomic weapons, it is the subject of talks involving Canada and the USA.
SYNOPSIS: The nuclear plant at Rio Tercero is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1980.
Rear Admiral Carlos Castro Maderos is Chairman of the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA). At Rio Tercero he inspected progress particularly the installation of the nuclear reactor. Rear Admiral Maderos recently has announced a programme to establish a heavy water plant-essential for atomic weapons.
When completed, the Rio Tercero plant is expected to produce 8 per cent of the country's hydro-electricity. The existing nuclear plant at Atucha already produces about 10 per cent of Argentina's hydro-electric requirements.
The new plant will use natural uranium-an element in which Argentina is self-sufficient. But the vital fuel elements needed to run the reactors are processed in West Germany. The Canadian Atomic Energy Commission was on of the successful tenders for the new plant.
Visnews' correspondent in Buenos Aires, John Arden, says the reactor has been the subject of a big political controversy in which it has been proved the Canadian consortium and Italy's Italimpianti Societa Italiana Impianti paid bribes of 5-million dollars (US) to an official in the deposed Peron government.
As mentioned, Chairman Maderos is considering ways of setting up a heavy water plant in the southern province of Neuquen but prospects depend on the agreement of the United States of America and Canada, as both control the necessary technological patents. Talks have proceeded slowly and Chairman Maderos has accused some countries of agreeing to restrict the export of the necessary technology needed for atomic weapons.
When completed the new plant's output is expected to be about 600 megawatts.